A Weekly Guide Through the Warfare of Worship
The battles you face no longer await; they are here and now. As a worship leader, pastor, associate leader, volunteer, servant, or simply a church attender, we have all experienced worship as warfare, spiritually and sometimes physically, mentally, and emotionally. Whether you see yourself as a creative person or not, you will find yourself at the frontline of battle. And in the midst of such battles, there is limited time; valuable time that could be saved by having supplemental resources, proper tools and weapons, and a tested battle plan. So I wrote this book to provide a valuable resource to help refine your tools and plans.
As a tool meant to guide you, this book, filled with fifty-two devotionals, will alleviate some of the demands of your job or schedule and help you find fresh ways to inspire team members and stay inspired yourself, while staying relevant to the season at hand. With the year broken into four quarters, spanning three months each, the ideas stay relevant and fresh in this supplemental guide for worship leaders and worshipers alike. You’ll find a timely encouragement for each week that often accompany the cultural norms of the season. There is a fifth week in each quarter to compensate for longer months and give extra insight when needed. In addition, I’ve included some Back Pocket Devos to keep handy.
Having led worship for nearly ten years and heading up worship over the entire student ministry across three campuses, I have used many of these devotionals and been met with much success. I’ve served in various churches, and more importantly, at various levels. I began leading worship in small groups. God has given me a passion for worship and anointings for different seasons. Through His guidance, I’ve learned so much about submitting to authority while maintaining the vigor for battle. I know what it’s like to be the Private, who must blindly follow nearly every order. But as a good soldier, I have moved up in ranks according to God’s timeline, and have had the privilege of serving as a leader, and now a leader of leaders. It has not been an easy journey. The battles are real, and they aren’t just on the stage or supernatural.
What I had to fight to learn is now available to you in a well-organized and straight forward way. I’ve worked hard to take away the excuses you may have: not enough time to prepare an encouragement, not wanting to pull a watered down word out of your hat (I’m being nice, for now), not feeling equipped to share, thinking everyone is tired of you talking, not trusting your own words, or the plethora (yeah, I went there) of reasons that have crossed your mind before.
I’ve thought all of those excuses and said a few. My wife (husbands, you understand the power of her words) has said some of them to me on occasion as well. It doesn’t mean she was right, or wrong. So I went to the One who knows me best, my story, and how I fit into His story. He would stir my heart and call me closer to him. As I led my team, I naturally began to find encouragements that I felt were compelling, honest, and relevant. This book is the result of those leadings.
After launching our third campus, a video teaching campus, I had the privilege to be the worship leader. I truly believe that God used the sparks from our devotional times as catalysts for His glory. God has moved and is moving, and I’m honored to be a part of it. We can only ever attribute any good to Him.
These are real quotes I’ve heard, as best I can remember: “People really worship here.” “This campus’s worship atmosphere is amazing.” “It’s so refreshing to be part of such an authentic service.” “There is such a sweet yet powerful spirit of worship here.”
We strive for excellence as another form of honoring Him, but there is always room to grow, and I know you feel the same about your own home church.
I promise to be honest, even painfully so at times. I promise that you will be challenged in the best possible ways through this study. As a leader, you will grow in your leadership and credibility among your team (Tweet this). As a team member or volunteer, you will grow in wisdom and truth. As we go on this journey together, God will make more things known to you than you could find on your own.
What You Will Get from This Book
What you have to look forward to (if you truly dive in):
- More free time through the week and during pre-service preparations
- Tried, tested, and trustworthy encouragements available when they are most needed
- Feeling better equipped to lead moments and meetings
- Relevant and time-sensitive connections to the real world in real time
- More awareness of cultural trends
- Well-organized information which can be easily found and applied
- Increased intimacy with Christ
- More excitement, trust, and buy-in from your team and leadership
- Deeper understanding of the calling placed on each person’s life, in every role
- A larger return on investment, monetarily and temporally
Who Is This Book For?
- Christians: every Christ follower is a worshiper
- Worship leaders: every person on stage is a worship leader in some capacity
- The Curious: those who want to know more about the culture of worship towards the Christian God in the modern world and the struggles that go along with it
Why Is This For You?
- There never seems to be enough time, resources, focus, expectation, and/or motivation in the week leading up to the weekend services
- You’re facing spiritual warfare, difficult relationships, divisiveness among team members or leadership, or uncertainties in your leadership or that of others
- There is no problem, and that’s the problem! There is too much complacency
- A number of other reasons
Your Solution: aha, you thought I’d just hand it to you, but I’d rather just give you a hand! Keep reading for next steps!
You’ve already taken the best first step: recognizing that you can benefit from someone else’s experiences. That’s one wall of pride knocked down already!
And herein lies the warning! Your pride will tell you to tread carefully. Your own experiences will tell you that you’ve been right more often than wrong. You will place your calling above the wisdom and counsel of others who have been there before. These are just some of the battles you will face.
But you are already at war. You are already on the frontline. The power of this choice is no longer in your hands. Would you rather continue to stand alone, with the simple, primitive weapons you’ve forged on your own, allowing your pride to be the strongest weapon in your enemy’s hands? Or would you stand with an army, with weapons forged throughout time by Christ Himself? I know what I have chosen. I hope you do this same.
“For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.”
—2 Corinthians 10:4 (Tweet this)
What you do with this book will be a defining moment for you. Battles do come without warning, but more often they are expected, even planned. Your next battle awaits you, and it is this: to open this book once again, and not leave it on the shelf. Not to put it aside with the hope of reading it when there is time. No! You know the times of the battle already, those days leading up to the weekend service. Make your battle plan now: to have your next reading time scheduled. Just as you go to battle preparing for your task, your duty, use this book to supplement that training. Then, on the morning of the service, open it to that conveniently labeled week of the month, and confidently share it with your team, your leader, your congregation, or yourself once again.
In 2 Chronicles 32, the king of Assyria invaded Judah just after Hezekiah’s acts of faithfulness in chapter 31. Hezekiah, the king of Judah, didn’t rely on his own faithfulness, but instead began to plan and act. He built up walls and towers, made weapons and shields, set commanders, gathered the people, and encouraged them with this:
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or dismayed before the king of Assyria and all the horde that is with him, for there are more with us than with him. With him is an arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God, to help us and to fight our battles.” And the people took confidence from the words of Hezekiah king of Judah.”
—2 Chronicles 32:5-8